Network Chief Operating Officer in Bethlehem Emphasizes Strengths of the Campus.............1 Top-rated Cardiovascular Research Department Provides Excellent Care...............2 ‘Healthy Habits’ Helps Children with Fitness, Good Nutrition............................3 Network is Moving Forward with Huge Electronic Medical Records Project.................4 St. Luke’s is a Partner in Project Seeking to Reduce Distracted Driving.............6 Diverse Projects Honored at 2011 Quality Awards Program.........................7 Dr. Doyle’s Goal for Behavioral Medicine: Compassionate Care........................................9
Chief Operating Officer in Bethlehem emphasizes strengths of the campus When Carol A. Kuplen, RN, MSN, was appointed the chief operating officer for St. Luke’s Hospital – Bethlehem Campus last year, it came at a time of growth and change for the Network. The new Anderson Campus had just opened, approval for the merger with Warren Hospital was near completion, and the first class of students in the new Medical School of Temple University/St. Luke’s Hospital was beginning its studies. The four-hospital network was becoming a six-hospital network, and for many doctors, staff and people in the community, it was reasonable to ask what the identity of the original “flagship” campus would be in the future. What would be its role in the Network? Carol emphasizes that Bethlehem is the center of tertiary care for the Network, the place where St. Luke’s handles the most complex of cases. Trauma, ob-gyn and pediatrics, neonatal continued on page 15
Chronic, Excruciating Pain Relieved through Region’s First Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant.........................................10 Community Health Department Study Looks at Tamaqua Area..................................11 Big Field Expected for St. Luke’s Half Marathon & 5K.......................................14 Hospice Celebrates Anniversary, Trans-continental Ride of J.W. Frye...............16
Carol Kuplen, RN, MSN, is chief operating officer, St. Luke’s Hospital – Bethlehem Campus.
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Top-rated Cardiovascular Research Department provides excellent care Until four years ago, St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network had only one formal research department, which focused on oncology. Then, the administration and physicians in the Cardiovascular Division, along with Nurse Manager Eileen A. Taff, MSN, RN, NE-BE, looked into making a cardiovascular research unit a reality. In 2004, a cardiovascular surgeon and Eileen conducted the first national multicenter trial, and since then, the surgeons and cardiologists have distinguished themselves in multiple trials. This resulted in Eileen being offered the opportunity to lead the first formalized department for cardiac research in 2007. Due to extensive growth of participation in trials and registries, it was necessary to add additional staff. Administrative Research Assistant Elizabeth A. Christ, LPN, was hired to help organize and manage the studies. Elizabeth, a dedicated employee for over 25 years, was a perfect fit. Continuous enrollment and multiple trials led to further staff increases, and today, the Research Department comprises six nurses on perdiem status who work together to ensure that each patient receives exceptional care. The department operates in a unique way due to the flexible hours required for enrollment of patients and follow-up appointments. The success of the clinical trials is due to the very supportive infrastructure at St. Luke’s, which includes the leadership of legal services, laboratory, pharmacy, office medical staff and courier services to ensure success in every step of the process. A new trial begins with the introduction of a study to a physician or Eileen. Next, the potential study is reviewed by the Clinical Research Board, composed of eight physicians who are involved in trials, led by director Dr. Jeffrey Veluz. Administrative leadership includes the participation of Division Chiefs Dr. Raymond Durkin and Dr. Stephen Olenchock. Kevin McGovern, vice president of operations, is also essential in his leadership and support. About 30 doctors and nurse 2
The Cardiovascular Research Department provides excellent care. Pictured above are, front row (L-R): Marcie Taff, Elizabeth Christ and Denise Tarsi. Back row (L-R): Annie Johns, Tracy Greaser, Eileen Taff, Katie Anderson and Ghada Suleiman.
practitioners are involved in studies at the Allentown and Bethlehem Campuses. After confirmation by the Research Board, the study formally seeks approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB). If the IRB finds the study ethical and worth pursuing, the enrollment process begins. A screener searches the hospital admissions list daily for potential patients who fit a study. Once a patient has been identified, the nurse explains the trial and the patient’s rights if he or she decides to enroll. If patients agree and give informed consent to participate, they are entered into the trial’s database. The Study Lead keeps in close contact with the patient, scheduling visits and coordinating testing and drug accountability, if applicable. The Study Lead and the entire Research Department often form lasting bonds with the patients. That may include sending out birthday and holiday cards long after a study has ended. The Data Manager prepares research charts for audits and submits the data records to the study. It takes close teamwork to integrate the enrollment process. This clinical trial
process — including individual responsibility and team ownership — allows for the best possible outcomes and minimization of cost, and has resulted in a 100 percent growth in the number of trials. The staff is available to patients 24/7, and Eileen believes their holistic approach is responsible for the department’s 90 percent patient retention rate. “We want patients to know that health care is just a phone call away,” Eileen said. An added value to the time that patients spend with the nurses is that they can get advice or help for any health issues that might arise. This nursepatient relationship creates a “halo effect,” which keeps patients dedicated to St. Luke’s and makes them more likely to return for additional services. The Research Department is conveniently located on the second floor of the Heart and Vascular Center at 1469 Eighth Avenue in Bethlehem. This location is a familiar setting for patients, as the St. Luke’s Physician Group cardiology office and diagnostic continued on page 15
‘Healthy Habits’ Helps Children with Fitness, Good Nutrition Teamwork among St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network nurses and dietitians and the staff at Donegan Elementary School in Bethlehem has resulted in better eating habits and healthier body composition for children who participated in “Healthy Habits,” a series of weekly classes that ran for 14 weeks in 2011. Children who had a high Body Mass Index, or BMI, were chosen by school nurses to participate, and at the end of the program, 56 percent, or five of the children, had improved their BMI. According to Marylou Wieder, MS, RD, LDN, CNSD, clinical nutrition manager for the Bethlehem Campus, the success of “Healthy Habits” went beyond just the numbers. She said, “It was huge that so many people from so many different areas became involved to make this program happen. The instructors ‘fell in love’ with all of the students and the school was so supportive.” In fact, Marylou said that plans are being made to repeat the program for the 2012 school year, perhaps starting in February.
The St. Luke’s Nutritionists (back row) teamed with the Donegan students and the school nurse, Elena Helmuth (front, right) in the Healthy Habits program.
Planning for “Healthy Habits” began at the end of 2010 when Bonnie Coyle, MD, St. Luke’s director of community health, contacted Sonia Vasquez, Donegan’s principal. The idea was to work through St. Luke’s Donegan Clinic, and a school-day schedule was decided upon. School nurse Elena Helmuth and Donna Bryant Winston, the nurse at the St. Luke’s clinic, chose 12 children with high BMIs, and with their doctors’ approval, they began the program. Due to changes in school schedules, three did not complete the February-to-May schedule.
but they blew us away.” The children also planted their own green beans and snap peas and watched them grow.
Dietitians Ellen Counterman, Marilou Wieder, Judy Barkanic and Charlene Trumbower served as weekly instructors who devised and taught a food-management program called “Red Light-Green Light Eat Right.” The program was written by Joanna Dolgoff. School nurse Elena Helmuth assisted and Sara Elchin from the St. Luke’s Health and Fitness Center taught a session on exercise and play, which the children loved, Marylou related. Dietitians Dagny Dagna-Storm and Beth Ciliberti also assisted. The “Red Light-Green Light Eat Right” program emphasized portion size, reading food labels and snacking. Using donated fresh vegetables and fruits, the teachers encouraged children to try new things. “They were willing to taste all of the vegetables,” Marylou said, “including spinach, snow peas, cabbage and cucumbers. The children were game for anything. We thought they might be picky,
Emelyz Santiago (left) and Zevanier Rivera show off the plants they grew in the Healthy Habits class.
The program ended with a “graduation” day, when parents joined in for a program with a cooking class and the making of fruit pizzas. St. Luke’s gave the families cook books, shirts and other souvenirs and certificates of completion. Marylou said, “It is vital that with today’s obesity epidemic, we focus on changing food habits when children are young so they can maintain healthy weight and become healthier adults. Incorporating, but limiting, high fat and high sugar foods and appropriate portion sizes are the most important ‘take home’ messages that young children can embrace.” In lieu of buying Christmas presents for each other this year, the staff at St. Luke’s Bariatric Services and St. Luke’s Bariatric and General Surgery made a very generous donation to the Healthy Habits program. This donation was made by the staff on behalf of Leonardo Claros, MD, and Maher El Chaar, MD, to help address the growing childhood obesity problem in the Lehigh Valley. This donation will allow the Healthy Habits program to be offered again in Spring 2012. Funds will be used to purchase healthy foods and physical activity equipment to help the children at Donegan eat healthier and become more active.
St. Luke’s Nutritionist Marilou Wieder (right) play “Red Light-Green Light Eat Right” with the Donegan students.
Network is Moving Forward with Huge Electronic Medical Records Project New Systems will enable Hospital Departments, Physician Offices to View, Share Records St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network is nearing the end of the first year of a multiyear effort that will create a state-of-the-art system of electronic medical records. When the system is fully operational, patients, as well as doctors and other caregivers, will be able to view electronic medical records from the Emergency Department, and from patients treated as both inpatients and outpatients online. One part of the project will enable a patient’s doctor, who is not a St. Luke’s employee, to participate and share their outpatient electronic medical record. Chad Brisendine, Network vice president and chief information officer, described the overall project as having five parts. One that already is under way involves the installation of more than 3,000 system enhancements and “fixes” to the inpatient medical record. This includes implementation of the Horizon Health Summary (HHS) and Horizon Medication Reconciliation (HMR) — a new product that allows clinicians to make better care decisions, reduces medication errors and improves overall inpatient communication and workflow. The HHS and HMR systems will enhance current inpatient systems to include a list of problems, medications, allergies and admission histories, among other data that centralize information to better understand the overall status of a patient. There is an inpatient electronic prescription writer that allows providers to submit electronic prescriptions and additional physician portal enhancements. This part of the project alone is big, because it involves upgrading all of the St. Luke’s campuses at the same time. This involves more than 5,000 computers and 3,000 clinicians who are on the systems throughout the day. The new enhancement is called McKesson Clinical 10.3 upgrade project. The project is scheduled to go live in April 2012. 4
The St. Luke’s EHR Powered by Allscripts event was a St. Luke’s Physician Group event where Allscripts made a presentation recognizing the partnership between the Network and Allscripts. Glen Tullman (left), CEO of Allscripts, presents a copy of a press release announcing that the Network purchased the Allscripts product to Richard A. Anderson, president of St. Luke’s.
The “Allscripts Enterprise Electronic Health Record” will be implemented across St. Luke’s-employed physician offices and hospital outpatient clinics over the next two years. St. Luke’s will start with the family practice offices in January 2012 and continue implementing its specialists through the end of 2013. Dean Evans, president of St. Luke’s Physician Group, said, “Allscripts Enterprise EHR will assist our physicians and staff to achieve many goals, including patient care follow-ups and reminders that will proactively help our providers manage our patients.” The Allscripts Enterprise EHR will move each physician practice from paper medical records to an online electronic health record, providing access to electronic medical records for providers and patients, which will enhance patient engagement and improve patient care. The Allscripts Enterprise EHR was designed for connecting health care communities and large physician groups like the St. Luke’s Physician Group. The Allscripts Enterprise EHR is intuitive and mimics practice workflow, and will be available anytime/anywhere and
accessible from iPhones, iPads, Blackberry and Android smartphones. Allscripts Enterprise EHR is being used in more than 40,000 physician offices across the United States. To support this effort, St. Luke’s has added 20 new employees who will configure the software, train employees, implement clinical workflows and support the system. In addition to our internal providers, St. Luke’s is extending its vision of Electronic Health Records and a connected care community to affiliated providers through a subsidized EHR offering. The Allscripts MyWay Electronic Health Record will connect affiliated providers to the St. Luke’s system and create opportunities to improve patient care and communication. St. Luke’s believes there are significant benefits for affiliated providers if they choose to participate in the St. Luke’s EHR offering. Those benefits include better health care outcomes for patients and the possibility to increase their financial performance. St. Luke’s is subsidizing 85 percent of the cost of the EHR and the continued on page 5
‘Patient Portal’ will make Records, Test Results Available Online from Everywhere When St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network completes the rollout of electronic medical records (EMR) by 2014, an important piece of the project will be the Patient Portal — an online system that will allow patients to view their medical records and interact with their physicians and other health professionals. Chad Brisendine, Network vice president and chief information officer, explained that the Patient Portal, to be available in 2012, will greatly improve the experience of people who come to St. Luke’s for their health care. When the system is complete, they will be able to view records of visits to doctors and treatment they receive at Network hospitals, both as in-patients and out-patients and for same-day surgery. Patients can check on all kinds of test results and also will be able to review prescription orders. Chad said, “Perhaps the part that patients will like best is that it will be easy to ask questions online about their records.” The Patient Portal will enable people to view their records from any computer with an Internet connection. The system is designed to be secure, so a person can see only his or her own records. The only exception will be that parents will be able to see the records of their minor children. The system security will extend to the messages that patients and caregivers exchange. Chad said the benefits of EMR and the Patient Portal are great. It will improve health outcomes by allowing better coordination of care and enabling seamless e-referrals and e-orders for tests and other treatment. It also will help to eliminate redundant testing. That, in turn, will reduce costs for the Network, insurers and patients.
Electronic Records cont. practices will qualify for incentives related to “meaningful use” of an EHR. In fact, Joel Fagerstrom, the Network’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, explained that affiliated practices that join the project by the end of 2012 will receive a positive return of about $44,000. This will provide physicians with money to assist them in implementing an EHR. Among the reasons for encouraging the practices to participate, Joel said, is that “connecting our non-employed physicians will provide better patient care coordination. We believe Allscripts MyWay is an easy-touse and flexible EHR and the best choice for non-employed providers.” Of course, practices not employed by St. Luke’s can choose to “stay on paper.” Chad said, however, “we don’t recommend this because we cannot achieve care coordination and the access to information that is vital to managing our patient population.” There is government incentive now to implement EHRs and the government will begin penalizing organizations that do not have an EHR in 2015. In addition to practices that choose to participate in the St. Luke’s EHR subsidy, practices with an existing EHR will be able to improve patient care by connecting to the St. Luke’s Health Information Exchange (HIE). The HIE will aggregate and deliver medical information from different EHRs and care settings that will enhance providers’ access to health information and improve outcomes for patients. Some examples of information that will be stored in the HIE are inpatient care documents, hospital discharge summaries, Emergency Department encounters, outpatient care summaries from the Allscripts Enterprise and MyWay platforms, and test results from laboratories and radiology departments. Once these data become available in the HIE, providers will be able to view a holistic picture of a patient’s health. As the EHR and HIE systems will help to facilitate care coordination throughout the St. Luke’s Network, one crucial component that is still missing is an easy, secure way for patients to view and interact with their medical records — a patient portal. St. Luke’s believes that an engaged patient population is vital to effective and efficient health care delivery. For this reason, St. Luke’s will deploy GE’s Patient On-Line (POL) technology, which leverages
the medical data stored in the HIE to make all of a patient’s medical records available from any computer or smart phone with an Internet connection. Patients will be able to view test results and determine if all of their providers have an accurate medication list. They will be able to fill out forms electronically, at their convenience, and know that their providers have the information ready and available at the time of their visit. With Patient On-Line, St. Luke’s will enable patients to become more involved with their health care, which will improve health outcomes and generate efficiencies for their health care providers. The patient portal will be a system whereby people can see their medical records, test results and prescription information online, via computers at home or in other locations. (See ‘Patient Portal’ will make Records, Test Results Available Online from Everywhere to the left) St. Luke’s is expecting to spend $25 million in capital over three years to implement the requirements of the federal Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). St. Luke’s is expected to receive about $27 million in government incentives. While the government incentives do not pay for the long-term cost of the system, there is significant incentive to move now to an EHR. The goal is for the entire EHR system to be complete in 2014. Chad said, “St. Luke’s is going to be a leader in electronic health records; our electronic system is going to be among the top health care systems in the United States. This involves a major investment for the Network and it will enable us to take better care of our patients. The time is now for St. Luke’s and our community to get electronically connected health information. All this change will create some challenges, but it will also create opportunity for us to re-evaluate the way we do things. It will require significant training and a willingness to be flexible and adaptable. Unfortunately, we cannot expect technology to solve all our problems but if we’re smart, we can use this technology to drive us toward our vision.”
St. Luke’s is a Partner in Project Seeking to Reduce Distracted Driving When a teenaged friend of Jane Hoff’s family was badly injured in a traffic accident, the professionals in the St. Luke’s Trauma Department helped to save her life and set her on the road to recovery. The young woman was injured as the result of distracted driving — meaning that a person behind the wheel was paying attention to something other than what’s happening on the road. As she recovered, that teenager decided she wanted to speak out about the dangers of distracted driving. Jane, a master’s prepared registered nurse with extensive interest in research, decided to help her get the message out. She did research and last year approached St. Luke’s to seek its support in this important project of injury prevention. In short, St. Luke’s agreed to a partnership with Jane and STANDD — the organization she is building. The acronym is for “Take a STANDD, Stop Texting and Distracted Driving,” and Jane is its executive director. Jane said, “STANDD is not just an awareness program. Rather, it affects behavioral change through education and research. It encourages people to schedule an educational program today and prevent an accident tomorrow.” Knowing that the project would be strongest if it were based on solid research, Jane circulated an online survey and got responses from 1,800 adults regarding their perceptions of what distracts drivers. Experts at St. Luke’s helped to analyze the results, and Jane made a presentation about distracted driving this month in Orlando, Fla., at the annual meeting of the Eastern Association for Surgery of Trauma. And, working with St. Luke’s, she is planning to take the STANDD program to schools in the Lehigh Valley this year. The initial research in 2011 revealed that more study is needed regarding distracted driving in two particular areas. One involves child-care providers who transport children in their vehicles, and a second survey is being done to look further into that issue. The other involves teenagers. As Jane said, ”And that’s where this all started... we need to reach teenagers.” She explained, “STANDD is not just about education, as important as the message about distracted driving is. It’s about affecting behavior.” “Plans for STANDD include creation of a foundation and gaining status as a non-profit organization,” she said. St. Luke’s is developing a web site for STANDD, which will be launched in the near future. And, Jane is seeking out other companies and organizations to join in the effort. She said, “We want to help people be safer. It isn’t enough to stop texting; we need people to change how they deal with all of the distractions that interfere with safety on the roads.” Jane said she is grateful to Jennifer Grell, BSN, RN, a nurse in the St. Luke’s Trauma Division, who co-wrote the STANDD article with her; Nicole Lohrman, a nurse educator who will be working with Jane to develop the STANDD educational program; Cici Williams, who co-founded STANDD; and Robert Boyd, who created the STANDD logo on a pro bono basis.
(L-R): Jane Hoff, Jen Grell, RN, Amanda Illingworth, and Amanda’s mother Judith Illingworth are working together to get the message out about STANDD.
“STANDD is not just about education, as important as the message about distracted driving is. It’s about affecting behavior.”
— Jane Hoff 6
Diverse projects honored at 2011 Quality Awards Program St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network recognized quality improvement projects submitted by teams from across the Network during National Healthcare Quality Week, which occurs during the third week of October. The program selects first and second place winners in each of five categories that are based upon the five points of the St. Luke’s Star: Quality, People, Service, Finance, and Growth. An overall winner known as the President’s Award is selected from the first-place winners. The first and second place winners are notified in September; however, the President’s Award winner is not disclosed until the awards ceremony. Jennifer D. Sprankle, RN, MSN, CPHQ, who serves as director of clinical performance improvement (PI), said the purpose of the awards program is to celebrate the contributions that staff members make every day to provide quality health care and services to patients. The program is also intended to foster the use of PI tools and techniques across the Network and to support the Network’s vision “to be nationally recognized for excellence in clinical outcomes, cost effective care and patient satisfaction.” This was the fourth year for the Quality Awards program, and since its inception, more than 50 departments across the Network have participated. The awards program is just one event for the Network during National Healthcare Quality Week. A poster display of all accepted Quality Award projects is rotated throughout the Network and this year a brief essay contest was added. Employees also could win prizes in a daily e-mail quiz, “Quality Question of the Day.”
2011 President’s Award This year’s President’s Award went to “A Multidisciplinary Central Line Performance Improvement Initiative,” with team leaders Cathy Knecht, Kara Mascitti, MD, Diana Tarone and Jennifer Horgash. In 2006, the critical care units in Bethlehem had a central line associated blood stream infection (CLABSI) rate of 4.6 episodes per 1,000 central line days. The goal of this project was to reduce that rate by 50 percent by 2009 and maintain an infection rate below Commonwealth of Pennsylvania benchmarks. By 2009, the goal of a 50 percent reduction was attained, and by the first quarter of 2011, a 70 percent reduction was achieved. This rate has consistently fallen below the statewide rates. The project was expanded to the NICU, where a 100 percent reduction and a current rate of zero infections were achieved. continued on page 8
Cynthia Reade (left) and Rosemary Nourse.
St. Luke’s team exhibits at 25th Anniversary Conference of American Psychiatric Nurses Association A team from St. Luke’s Behavioral Health presented a poster at the 25th Anniversary Conference of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA), held in Anaheim, Calif., this past fall. The title was “Patient Specific Nursing Interventions for Management of a Highly Acute Case Mix Inpatient Population with Violence Potential in the General Hospital Psychiatric Acute Care Setting.” The primary presenter was Cynthia Reade, BS, RN-BC, NE-BC, program manager in Behavioral Health. Staff nurse Rosemary Nourse, RN, CCRC, was the abstract’s principal author and Maryfrances Watchous, RNC, clinical coordinator, facilitated staff in the clinical setting. January 2011
Quality Awards cont. The Network Quality Awards were held this past fall at the Bethlehem Campus. Network Vice President and Chief Quality Officer Donna Sabol (sixth from right) and St. Luke’s President Richard A. Anderson (third from right) present the President’s Award to the “Multidisciplinary Central Line Performance Improvement Initiative” team.
2011 First Place Winners
2011 Second Place Winners
“Impact of Exclusive Human Milk Feeding on Reduction of Necrotizing Enterocolitis,” with team leaders Cathy Waltemyer, Andrew Unger, MD, and Cindy Max. The goal of the project was to reduce the rate of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in very low birth rate babies on the Bethlehem Campus from 16.4 percent, the rate measured in 2009, to below 7 percent by using exclusive human milk feedings. NEC is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in premature infants. The project resulted in the development of a revised feeding protocol, the addition of a full-time neonatal lactation consultant and improved education and support for staff and families. From February 2010 to January 2011, the NEC rates went from 16.4 percent to 0 percent, with no incidence of NEC in 44 cases. Not only was this a statistically significant improvement, but it elevated St. Luke’s performance to the top quartile nationally.
“Surgical Care Improvement Project: Beta Blocker Administration Every Patient Every Time,” with team leaders Anita Buono and Andrew Star. Improvements in documentation and pre-operative checklists resulted in an improvement in compliance rate of perioperative beta blocker administration from 90 percent in FY 2009 to 98.83 percent in FY 2011. As of November 2010, the group reached a 100 percent compliance rate.
“Reducing Patient Length of Stay in the Postoperative Cardiac Surgical Population,” with team leaders Juliann Weiss, Stephen Borda, Jane Fisk and Christina Zelko. In 2006, the postoperative length of stay, or PLOS, for patients in the cardiac surgical intensive care unit (CSICU) averaged 62 hours. The goal of this project was to reduce that time by 12 hours by 2010. The team implemented 11 initiatives, a few of which were the Bleeding Watch strategy (which won first place in the 2010 Quality Awards), a volume replacement protocol and early mobilization of the patient. In 2010, the average CSICU PLOS went from 62 hours to 39 hours, which reflected better than expected outcomes. Mortality rate decreased from 4 percent in 2006 to 1.6 percent in 2010 and the combined outcomes of these initiatives yielded a conservative estimated cost reduction of $1.22 million in 2010. St. Luke’s received the highest quality rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgery for quality of care, an honor awarded to only 12 percent of the hospitals performing cardiac surgery across the country. “A Nurse Driven Multidisciplinary Initiative to Assess Indwelling Urinary Catheter Necessity,” with team leaders Shyla Harris, Kristie Leshko, Bridget McEnrue and Kathy Ramson. In 2009, the Network had a catheter associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) rate of 2 per 1,000 ICU days. The goal of this team was to reduce that rate by 20 percent from 2009 to 2010. A nurse-driven protocol was developed that enabled nurses to remove catheters via a decisionmaking algorithm, thus eliminating the need for a physician’s order. By 2010, the infection rate was reduced by 22 percent and all hospitals in the Network were below the Pennsylvania aggregated rate. 8
“Operating Room Supply Charge Codes: Decreasing Miscellaneous Charges,” with team leader Donna Musselman. Baseline data in May 2010 reflected that $4.2 million was charged to miscellaneous charge codes at the Bethlehem Campus. By January 2011, a multidisciplinary team reduced the amount of supplies and implants charged to miscellaneous codes to $1.45 million. The program has been shared with all operating rooms throughout the Network. “Growing a Volunteer Department,” with team leader Georgina Winfield. The goal was to increase the number of volunteers, the hours they contribute and the dollar value saved by using volunteers at the Allentown Campus by 30 percent over three years. Through the development of a revised volunteer program by 2010, 185 volunteers contributed 24,943 hours in 49 assignments, saving the hospital $410,145. The results of this project were statistically significant: an 82 percent increase in volunteer hours , a 101 percent increase in the number of actual volunteers, a 111 percent increase in dollar value saved, and a 75 percent increase in the number of completed volunteer assignments. “Improving Quality in Nursing Documentation: It’s Vital,” with team leaders Diana Tarone and Jennifer Grell. The goal was to improve nursing documentation of vital signs and neurological assessments for trauma consult patients to meet compliance with the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation requirement. Baseline data reflected a compliance rate well below the state rate of 70 percent and at times, lower than 20 percent. Through order modification, revision of Horizon Expert Orders, revision of the trauma flow sheet, staff education, peer review and a few other steps, the Emergency Department attained documentation compliance greater than or equal to the 70 percent state compliance rate.
Dr. Doyle’s goal for Behavioral Medicine: Compassionate care David A. Doyle, DO, chief of behavioral medicine for St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network, has as goals for his department to provide compassionate care and excellent service to the community and hospital in a financially sound manner. He insists that treatment practices be based on evidence-based medicine, supported by sound research and the guidance of national peer groups. For almost 60 years, the trend in behavioral medicine has been to de-institutionalize people from large psychiatric hospitals, and acute-care hospitals have followed that evolution. So, a simple count of how many behavioral-medicine beds are available is not an accurate measure of how much care is being provided. (For the record, there are 23 beds in the unit at St. Luke’s Hospital – Bethlehem Campus and 19 at St. Luke’s Quakertown Hospital.) A more complete picture of behavioralhealth services includes two tiers in addition to hospital admission. There is St. Luke’s “Innovations” program, in which patients spend their nights at home and come to the outpatient building weekdays for therapy, group sessions and meetings with psychiatrists. There also are Community Treatment Teams, run by the counties, that provide care outside the hospital. They include doctors, case managers and therapists. Dr. Doyle said, “We emphasize patient satisfaction and many people prefer to be at home. If they have support systems, that is a good option. Also, in the larger health care picture, it is less costly for people to get care without being hospitalized.” There also are outpatient services with care provided by therapists and psychiatrists. Many patients do begin treatment by being hospitalized. Dr. Doyle said many come
through the Emergency Department where crisis treatment staff diagnose their conditions. Others are referred by doctors’ offices or may be referred from other floors in the hospital. The goal for those admitted is short-term stabilization. Including Dr. Doyle, there are eight physicians and a staff of about 60 others providing that care. They include nurses, mental-health technicians, therapists, case managers, activity staff and occupational therapists. (The intervention teams in the Emergency Departments and about 30 others who provide out-patient services also are part of the Behavioral Medicine Department.) A change that Dr. Doyle has observed in his career is the medications that are available. He said that some of the medicines developed in the 1950s still are effective, but newer medicines tend to have fewer or milder side-effects and patients can tolerate them better. They also are safer. Dr. Doyle has been at St. Luke’s for about 14 years. After he graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1991, he went on to a residency at Norristown State Hospital, one of Pennsylvania’s biggest institutions. He needed to complete one more elective and chose to take it at St. Luke’s, working with a physician, coincidentally, in the same office on North-7 that he uses today. Dr. Doyle, a Lehigh Valley native, said he liked the staff and felt that St. Luke’s was living up to the slogan, “Big-city medicine, hometown care.” Dr. Doyle said plans call for St. Luke’s to offer a “telepsychiatry” service for St. Luke’s Miners Memorial Hospital. It will involve two-way video and audio communication, which he expects to be especially valuable in areas that are under-served by psychiatrists. Another change concerns teaching.
Dr. David Doyle works in the same office on NW-7, the Behavioral Health Unit, where he began his St. Luke’s career.
Dr. Doyle also enjoys teaching medical students, a role that the behavioral medicine staff continues to serve in the new joint medical school with Temple University. And, he expects that full use of the Anderson Hospital will require the department to keep pace to provide whatever services are needed. He said he was a “non-traditional” medical student because he was a bit older, married and a parent at the time. Through his schooling, he worked as a construction worker, a silversmith and a musician. Today, Dr. Doyle and his wife Gayle have two children and three grandchildren. He still plays the piano and guitar.
“We emphasize patient satisfaction and many people prefer to be at home. If they have support systems, that is a good option. Also, in the larger health care picture, it is less costly for people to get care without being hospitalized.”
— David A. Doyle, DO, chief of behavioral medicine for St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network January 2011
Chronic, Excruciating Pain Relieved Through Region’s First Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant Bangor resident Jeff Hardick lay in bed, staring at the ceiling of his bedroom. He had spent three years this way — three long years engulfed in the despair that only someone in chronic, excruciating pain can feel.
“Jeff was a good candidate for this procedure,” explained Dr. Falowski. “His pain was no longer managed by medications and his once-active life was impacted severely by the pain he experienced.”
He had no hope. He only felt pain — the physical pain that coursed down his spine and from which he had no relief, no matter what position he lay, and the mental anguish from living this way after having a full, active life for 47 years. Waking up was disappointing. He took 270 pain pills a month. He passed out once or twice a week when he tried to do simple tasks. His wife or daughter would come home to find him bloody and passed out on top of a shattered water glass or to find him at the bottom of the stairs with cuts on his face, gashes on his head and bruises on his arms. He threw up regularly from the pain and from the medications.
The procedure involves implanting an electrode in the patient’s back near the source of the nerve pain and a movement sensor under the skin of the buttock. The implanted electrode produces mild electrical impulses to block the transmission of pain from the nerve endings before the pain impulse reaches the brain. The surgery is used in conjunction with pain medication for some people, but some patients are able to stop all medications.
“The pain overrode my life,” Jeff said. “That’s all I thought about. I didn’t really hear when people spoke to me. All I could hear was the pain. It controlled me — I didn’t control it.” Jeff ’s back issues started in 2001 while he was bending sheet metal on a hydraulic press, and he felt a pop in his back. The pain injection at the hospital helped, and he returned to work six weeks later, managing his pain with overthe-counter medication. Two years later, the pain worsened, and he underwent surgery to remove the bulging disk. For the next four years, he continued to work until 2007 when another disk ruptured. He underwent another surgery, where his spine was fused with metal bars. The pain was constant, but manageable. But nearly eight years after his first injury, Jeff was lifting heavy sheet metal when he felt the sharpest pain he had ever experienced and passed out. After spending two weeks in the hospital and seeing a multitude of specialists, he was told that he would probably be spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair and on heavy pain medications. The couple sought second, third and fourth opinions, only to be told the same sobering news. Depression became his only companion, as he continued to withdraw. “I had given up,” Jeff 10
Dr. Falowski in surgery.
said. His wife Terri and daughter Nicole had not. They struggled to get him to get out to dinner or to talk with friends. He was not interested. All he heard and felt was screaming pain. A Chance Meeting Changes Everything While at the grocery store one day, Jeff and Terri ran into a former coworker of Jeff ’s who observed him walking with a cane and hunched over in pain. She told the couple about an article she read about pain management through spinal cord implants and sent Jeff the article about the FDA approval of Medtronic, the medical device company that researched and developed the technology. After Jeff ’s inquiry, Jeff ’s pain management physician put him in touch with St. Luke’s neurosurgeon Dr. Steven Falowski. NeuroStimulator Surgery and Technology Terri encouraged Jeff to pursue the neurostimulation surgery. Jeff was apathetic but, with Terri’s encouragement, went to see Dr. Falowski, the region’s only fellowshiptrained neurosurgeon specializing in functional neurosurgery in the Lehigh Valley.
The RestoreSensor Neurostimulator® device by Medtronic that Dr. Fawloski uses was approved by the FDA in November 2011. St. Luke’s was one of 13 original sites selected throughout the country to receive the first devices immediately following FDA approval. Although the technology has been around for years (the first type was FDA approved in 1986), the level electrical impulses had to be manually changed for the differing levels of pain patients would feel when they moved. For example, if a patient felt more pain during sitting than lying down, the patient would have to manually change the amount of stimulation when they sat. Every time a patient moved, the patient would have to adjust the level of therapy. “The disadvantage of the former technology,” said Dr. Falowski, “is that some patients would not change the level of therapy based on their movement, which would understimulate the nerves during some movements and over-stimulate the nerves during others. This can result in what patients describe as a jolt during certain movements.” The newly-approved RestoreSensor Neurostimulator® has a sensor/battery pack that is implanted in the gluteus muscle in the buttock that senses the patient movement and automatically adjusts the appropriate amount of stimulation for the level of pain continued on page 12
Community Health Department study looks at Tamaqua area A study conducted by the Network’s Department of Community Health will help civic leaders in the Tamaqua area to make plans to address health issues in eastern Schuylkill County. Hollie Gibbons, MPH, RD, manager of disease prevention programs, said that the project was funded by a grant from the Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the Tamaqua Area Community Partnership. The Partnership asked St. Luke’s to do the study because it recognized its expertise in the area. Hollie added, “It was a good opportunity for our department to extend its work more broadly across the Network.” The study found that residents in the Tamaqua area had a higher prevalence of chronic health conditions than statewide and national averages. This included high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, angina and stroke. Data were gathered through existing records within the Tamaqua Area School District (TASD) and St. Luke’s Miners Memorial Hospital, interviews with representatives of local organizations, focus groups and surveys completed by 381 Tamaqua area residents. In general, the TASD has residents who tend to be older, predominantly white and nonHispanic. The Schuylkill County unemployment rate is higher than Pennsylvania’s average and median family income is lower than the state’s median. The number of children qualifying for free lunches in the TASD rose 8.4 percent between 2004 and 2009.
Pictured above is the poster presented by Hollie Gibbons at a national conference showing results of a study on health issues in Tamaqua, Pa.
Regarding health statuses and behaviors, 42 percent of residents had physical, mental or emotional limitations, compared to 19 percent statewide, and 63 percent reported participation in physical activity in the last month, compared with 74 percent statewide. Sixty-eight percent rated their health as good to excellent, compared with a state rate of 85 percent. Thirty-four percent said they smoke cigarettes, compared to 20 percent statewide; 46 percent had a dental exam in the previous year, compared to 71 percent statewide. Regarding Body Mass Index, 47 percent were considered obese, compared to a Pennsylvania rate of 28 percent. Women
reported getting Pap smears and mammograms at rates of 66 percent and 51 percent, respectively. The corresponding statewide rates are 82 percent for Pap smears and 75 percent for mammograms. Hollie explained that the study results are being used in the preparation of a strategic plan for the Tamaqua Area Community Partnership to address the findings. Among the concerns are chronic disease management and prevention, the high rate of tobacco use, substance abuse and mental health, obesity prevention, and access to care for medical and dental health.
Employee Craft fair raised funds for Jenn’s house Members of the St. Luke’s Employee Craft and Health Fair Committee present a check for $2,000 to Jenn’s House from funds raised at the 2011 Employee Craft Fair held this past fall. (L-R): Stephanie Dillman, Charlene Trumbower, Paula Fairchild, Ellen Counterman, Kate Raymond, Gail Evans, and Jenn’s House founders, Richard and Patricia Dillman.
Chronic Pain cont. experienced by the patient. Simply, the device senses when the patient is standing, sitting, lying down, or moving left or right and adjusts the level of therapy as needed. The technology uses an accelerometer, which is the same technology used by smart phones and tablets to adjust images from vertical to horizontal. “This is the first implantable device that actually can learn what an individual patient’s body tolerates and prefers — then can automatically change the therapy levels based on the body’s reaction,” said Dr. Falowski. Dr. Falowski has performed nearly 250 of the neurostimulators placement surgeries — some with the patients asleep and some awake. He has co-published a paper “Awake vs. Asleep Placement of Spinal Cord Stimulators: A Cohort Analysis of Complications Associated with Placement” that was published in the January 2011 edition of Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface medical journal. Dr. Falowski stressed that the procedure is not a “last resort” for patients — and recommends patients try it when they are not able to relieve pain with anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, injections and/or pain medications. In fact, he recommends patients undergo the procedure earlier in the disease state. If someone has suffered chronic pain for more than six months, the patient may be considered for the procedure.
Jeff ’s pain was reduced to such a low level that he felt even more hope of success.
to the surgeon afterwards to have the new movement sensor technology turned on.
After two days trying the technology, Jeff was ready to commit to the surgery.
“Although the surgery and implant are not a cure for Jeff ’s back problems, the surgery can control the pain that debilitated Jeff ’s daily activities, allows him to stop taking medication and provides better quality of life,” said Dr. Falowski, “since pain impacts driving, working, thinking and may create fatigue and cause depression for patients.”
Surgery Day — December 14, 2011 Prior to surgery, Jeff told Dr. Falowski, “Let’s rock and roll!” For the first time in three years, he had a glimmer of hope. Dr. Falowski performed the surgery on December 14, 2011 — the first time a neurostimulator device with an automatic position adjustment was implanted in the Lehigh Valley and in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the second such procedure in the country. (The first surgery was performed in Virginia two days prior.) “Jeff ’s surgery lasted almost two hours, a typical time frame for this procedure,” said Dr. Falowski. After the surgery, the patient goes home the same day and is restricted for 6 – 8 weeks with no bending, reaching or lifting so that the location of the electrode on the spinal cord is not changed. Once the surgeon is assured the electrode has remained in the optimal position to block as much pain transmission as possible, the patient is cleared for activity. During the first four weeks, the patient manually manages the amount of stimulation until the battery pack heals in place. The patient returns
According to Dr. Falowski, the newlyFDA-approved technology has had an 88 percent patient satisfaction response — nearly unheard of in the medical field. The satisfaction rate means 88 out of 100 patients said that they could not live without the technology. Three Weeks Postsurgery Three weeks later, Jeff ’s and Terri’s lives have changed. The medication and pain fog has cleared, and Jeff now looks forward to waking up. “I love my life now,” Jeff said. “Terri told me I wake up with a smile. When the implant was turned on, it was like a light switch — the pain went away. We got a Christmas miracle!” Friends and family remarked over the holidays about how Jeff had changed in a continued on page 13
“This surgery has been proved safe and effective through the clinical trials that lead to the FDA approval,” said Dr. Falowski. The procedure is covered by most insurances. Two-Day Trial Patients who are considering the neurostimulation surgery participate in a trial with a stimulator that is connected to the patient by pain management physicians in an outpatient procedure. The trial determines which patients are appropriate candidates for the actual permanent surgery with Dr. Falowski. During the trial, the patient manually adjusts the amount of therapy. “Patients who experience at least a 50 percent reduction in pain during the trial and who find the ‘warm water’ feeling of the nerve stimulation pleasant are good candidates for surgery,” said Dr. Falowski. During the trial, 12
Dr. Falowski talks with Jeff Hardick (sitting) and his family.
A reception was recently held for the first class of the Regional Medical School of Temple University/St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network. St. Luke’s staff Doreen Tartell (left) and Judy Emery (right) attended with some of the students (L-R): Luis Vera, Marissa Cohen, Molly Cartright, Brittany Audley, Lucas Tsikitas, and Kevin McKim.
Representatives from Highmark Blue Shield recently toured the St. Luke’s Hospital – Anderson Campus and presented Network leaders with a $240,000 donation to establish the Highmark Scholars Program. Each of the 12 Temple/St. Luke’s Medical School students selected as Highmark Scholars will receive a $20,000 scholarship. St. Luke’s is currently recruiting students for the second medical school class. Highmark visitors (L-R): Matt Vogel, Vice President, Provider Contracting and Relations; Diane Minetola, Provider Relations Representative; Dr. Andrew Bloschichak, Senior Medical Director, Central Markets; Jane Stone, Community Affairs Specialist; Susan Hubley, Director, Community Affairs; and Winnie Melinsky, Director, Middle Market Client Management. Continuing from left representing St. Luke’s are Rick Anderson, president and CEO; Joel Rosenfeld, MD, chief academic officer; Pat Bower, vice president of Development; Ed Nawrocki, president, Anderson Campus; and Francine Botek, vice president of Finance.
Chronic Pain cont. few short weeks. Out of the wheelchair, Jeff was proud he could stand straight again. “My family and friends said, ‘We forgot how tall you are’, ” said the six-footer. “And we all cried, because after being hunched over from the pain and in the wheelchair for so long, I had forgotten, too.” “My family sacrificed a lot — we lost a lot of time the past three years. We didn’t take vacation to the beach or go anywhere. I January 2011
couldn’t. It hurt too much, and if I went out to eat, I would have to be slumped in a wheelchair.” Jeff has stopped taking pain medication and the anti-depressant prescribed for him. He can stand up from sitting or lying by himself — no assistance needed and no shooting pain. He has not passed out, fallen or thrown up in three weeks. He wants to lose the 30 pounds he gained while bed-ridden and is setting small goals for himself.
“When I’m cleared for activity, I am going to do physical therapy — I want to get back in shape so I can walk the beach with my wife this summer and hike some trails in Jim Thorpe in the fall,” he said. “The last three weeks, my wife has had to hold me back from doing too much because I have a few more weeks of limited activity. But I can’t wait to get started!”
Big Field Expected for St. Luke’s Half Marathon & 5K One of the largest single-day athletic and fitness events in the Lehigh Valley will happen this spring when the St. Luke’s Half Marathon & 5K takes place in Allentown. The event offers something for everyone, including experienced runners, novices and folks of all ages who just want to walk for fitness. In addition to the 13.1 mile half marathon and 3.1 mile 5K course, participants can register for a 1.5 mile Family Fun Walk. Taking place on Sunday, April 29 in Allentown and drawing more than 4,000 runners, the St. Luke’s Half Marathon & 5K is one of the largest single-day athletic events in the Lehigh Valley. Participants have come from 40 states and several countries. The races start a block from the St. Luke’s Hospital – Allentown Campus, and the course showcases Allentown’s beautiful
parks, offers live musical entertainment on the course and gives runners a “stadium finish” at J. Birney Crum Stadium. The 5K race starts at 8 am and the Half Marathon begins as soon as the 5K runners have cleared the start area, followed by the walkers. Children are encouraged to join in the fun during the St. Luke’s Youth Run on Saturday, April 28 at 3 pm. All proceeds from the weekend’s events support youth running and education programs organized by the Lehigh Valley Road Runners.
Due to its popularity, the Half Marathon is projected to sell out by February; spots for the 5K, Youth Run and Family Fun Walk should remain available until closer to April. To register for the Half Marathon after it is SOLD-OUT, please contact Kate Raymond at 484-526-4131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the race and to register, visit www.stlukeshalfmarathon.com. St. Luke’s employees, family and friends may also sign up to be part of “Team St. Luke’s.” After you have registered for the race, call InfoLink at 1-866-STLUKES to be added to the team and reserve your special St. Luke’s t-shirt.
This is the third year that St. Luke’s is sponsoring one of the largest races in the Lehigh Valley area. Nearly 4,000 runners turned out for the 2011 St. Luke’s Half Marathon & 5K. Network employees had a huge presence, with 241 runners and volunteers.
St. Luke’s employees participated in the 2011 St. Luke’s Half Marathon & 5K.
Lehigh University Lady Mountain Hawks visited the Pediatric Unit this past holiday season.
Lehigh University Lady Mountain Hawk Sarah Pearce got a high five from St. Luke’s pediatric patient Aidan Holloway with the help of Pediatric Clinical Coordinator Pat Gubich, RN.
Cardiovascular cont. center are on the first floor. Patients are compensated for travel, and in some cases, patients are transported by our courier services to their appointments. Today, the department has participated in more than 50 trials, three of which put it in the top 10 percent of institutional enrollment rates in the country. The department has also gone beyond cardiovascular studies. It has participated in neurology, endocrinology, pulmonary, interventional, device orthopedics, and cardiothoracic surgery studies. It has more than 700 patients enrolled in trials, some of whom have participated since 2005. Most studies involve oral medications, including statins, anti-coagulants and diuretics. Trials also may involve devices used in minimally invasive surgical procedures, and vaccines,
such as for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The studies are primarily sponsored by pharmaceutical and device companies and in cooperation with leading schools such as Temple and Duke Universities and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It is a great honor to be chosen for NIH studies, a testament to the success and great patient care given by the research team. Eileen said the department’s goal is to be the premier site for access to therapies, devices and medicines that have potential benefit to patients that would otherwise not be available. The department also believes in giving back to the community and contributes to hospital events and in the professional development of the staff. A grassroots approach in a community hospital setting has also earned the department
multiple invitations for poster presentations at annual National Nurses Congress meetings. Eileen has been a Network employee since 1981, entering as a LPN. She received her associate degree in Applied Science in Nursing from Northampton Community College in 1988; her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2002 from Kutztown University; and her Master’s Degree in Nursing in Leadership and Management and an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Certification as a Nurse Executive in 2009. In addition to Eileen and Elizabeth, the research team includes Katie Anderson, RN; Tracy Greaser, RN; Annie Johns, BSN, RN; Marcie Taff, RN; Ghada Suleiman, RN, BSN; and Denise Tarsi, RN.
Chief Operating Officer cont. intensive care, acute rehabilitation and behavioral health are examples of the services focused in Bethlehem. Patients who might be admitted through the Emergency Rooms at other Network hospitals — or any hospital, for that matter — routinely are brought to Bethlehem for inpatient care when the complexity of the case warrants it. The Bethlehem Campus plays another key role in that it is the location of the Network’s 10 residency programs. The School of Nursing, the nation’s oldest continuously operating diploma school, also is in Bethlehem. And, after medical students complete the first year of their training at Temple in Philadelphia, they will be based on the Bethlehem Campus. Carol noted that the Bethlehem Campus provides services to the entire Network, and that physicians and staff are shared with other Network locations. “Our goal always is outstanding, quality care. We focus on quality, safety, satisfaction, financial performance and growth.” Carol also noted that at the end of 2011 a public works project in South Bethlehem near the campus was completed. After two years of construction, new traffic lanes and ramps to the Hill-to-Hill Bridge were opened. This greatly eased travel to the Bethlehem Campus not only for staff, patients and families, but for emergency personnel who needed to get their ambulances through clogged intersections. Regarding financial performance and growth, Carol said the changing climate of government reimbursement plans, such as Medicare and Medicaid, will continue to be a challenge for the Network in the foreseeable future. “I believe our employees understand that challenge, but for consumers, it’s still new. This is also the case with the kind of high-deductible insurance that many people have now,” Carol said. In addition to being the Bethlehem Campus’s COO, Carol continues to serve as chief nursing officer for the Network. She said she enjoys her January 2011
“Our goal always is outstanding, quality care. We focus on quality, safety, satisfaction, financial performance and growth.”
— Carol Kuplen, RN, MSN, chief operating officer, St. Luke’s Hospital – Bethlehem Campus new responsibilities, and found that her previous duties and experience were good matches with serving as COO. It’s a new position with responsibility for operations, fiscal performance, quality outcomes and strategic initiatives for the Bethlehem site. She said, “I’m right where I want to be. This organization has excellent leaders in Network President Rick Anderson, Joel Fagerstrom (Network chief operating officer) and the entire leadership team. I work with committed, talented and knowledgeable staff and physicians. We have state-of-the-art equipment and technology.” Carol came to St. Luke’s in 1987 as a nurse manager and then served as director of the Network’s oncology program. In 2002, she became a vice president and senior nurse executive. She grew up in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area and earned her nursing diploma at Pittston Hospital. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and completed her master’s degree in nursing at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She was a Sigma Theta Tau Chiron Fellow in 2003 and a Johnson & Johnson Wharton Fellow in 2004. Regarding her appointment as the Bethlehem Campus’s COO, President Anderson said, “Given Carol’s proven track record as a results-oriented and outstanding leader at St. Luke’s, I believe she is the perfect person to lead the Bethlehem Campus into the future.” 15
The mission of St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network is to provide compassionate, excellent quality and cost-effective health care to residents of the communities we serve regardless of their ability to pay. Our Strategic Focus: People and Relationships • Physicians, Employees and Volunteers — our most important assets. • We will be the region’s health care employer of choice. Simplicity • Continue to simplify management structure. • Promote efficiency and effectiveness. Integrity • Transparent, accountable management. • Ongoing adherence to our Management Philosophy. Quality • Focus on clinical process improvements using national benchmarks and appropriately share the outcomes of our ongoing focus on quality. • Perform in the top decile in national pay-for-performance programs. Cost • Perform in the top decile in Thomson criteria for cost-effective management. • Continue to be the region’s low-cost tertiary hospital. Network Pulse is a periodic publication for the employees of St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network. Ken Szydlow Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations Executive Editor: Stephen Andrews Network Director, Marketing and Public Relations Contributing Writers: Glenn Kranzley Design Supervision: Lori Diehl Network Director of Graphic Design Photography: Joseph Klepeiss Director, Media Production Services Betsy Toole • Anne Kemp
St. Luke’s strives to be the region’s health care employer of choice.
Hospice Celebrates Anniversary, Trans-continental Ride of J.W. Frye The America on Wheels Museum in Allentown was the setting on Nov. 30 for the 25th anniversary celebration of the St. Luke’s Hospice and a tribute to J.W. Frye, who rode his bicycle from Florida to Alaska this year to express gratitude for the work of St. Luke’s Hospice and the hospice movement. Keith Boroch, president of the Visiting Nurse Association of St. Luke’s, which operates the hospice program, told about 130 guests that the America on Wheels setting was fitting for two reasons: Hospice staff and volunteers log one million miles of travel per year in carrying out their work, and J.W., who rode thousands of miles mostly over American roads, was present for the event. Pat Bower, vice president for development for St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network, praised J.W. for his inspiring talk about the hospice movement before, during and after his ride. Pat noted that St. Luke’s Hospice has cared for 28,000 patients and family members since 1986. He said that insurance reimbursements often do not meet the actual cost of care, especially when it comes to inpatient care at the Hospice House in Lower Saucon Township, which now is six years old. Meanwhile, the need for hospice care is going to grow, as the over-65 population in Lehigh and Northampton Counties is growing by 14.8 percent annually. Pat announced that, to help to meet future needs, work has begun on the creation of an endowment that would support the work of hospice in perpetuity. As guests left the celebration that evening, they were given information about a three-year campaign being planned to raise $2 million for the Hospice Endowment Fund. The endowment will help to sustain the Hospice Program for the long term. Lucinda L. Dealtrey, chair of the VNA Board of Trustees, spoke to the guests and commented that the six months it took J.W. to complete his ride is the same length of time for which patients get hospice care. J.W. narrated a slide show of scenes from his ride and answered questions from the guests. His ride was inspired by the care that St. Luke’s Hospice provided to his mother Tara Mullin Wright, who died in 2006. He spoke openly of his parents’ divorce and said that when his mother became ill and moved back to Bethlehem, they had not been in touch for years. His stepmother Valerie Frye became her primary caregiver, with the support of the St. Luke’s Hospice. “The distance I rode is small compared to the distance between my family members before we were helped by hospice,” he said. J.W. related anecdotes that showed how, again and again, people offered him support in unexpected ways. He got help with places to stay, meals and assistance with flat tires and other repairs to his bicycle. “Not only was I not a cyclist before I started this ride, I wasn’t a bicycle mechanic, either,” he said with a smile. When he rode into Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, J.W. said he thought to himself, “I’m not done.” His plans include a book and other rides to support children who are grieving. “When St. Luke’s Hospice cared for my family,” he said, “I was not asked to pay. But I was challenged to pay it forward.” 16